Jun 6 2011
By Priya Ramesh (@newpr)
Five Things You Should Know About New Google Analytics V5.0
Last week, I was speaking to the Women Grow Busines community founded by my client Network Solutions (a group of very smart women entrepreneurs in the DC region) about social media and we spent a good chunk of time discussing Google Analytics. I also had the opportunity to join some of my favorite metrics pundits Shonali Burke, Johna Burke and Margot Savell, Digital Measurement Strategist , Weber Shandwick at the BlogWorld session on “Metrics & Measurement”. This discussion sparked my curiosity to check out what’s new and latest with Google Analytics and I was pleasantly surprised to note that the leader in web analytics has quietly released its beta version, Google Analytics V5.0 and users have good things to say about the additional functionalities. By the way if you are the business of PR, Marketing, Social Media, I don’t care what you call it, I bet you do have to ultimately measure and report on analytics so please subscribe to the Google Analytics blog http://analytics.blogspot.com/ which is a gold mine of information on how to track right. You can also follow them on Twitter @GoogleAnalytics for latest updates and case studies on measurement.
Here’s a quick recap of five of the most useful features Google Analytics V5.0 offers to provide you more intelligence on who likes what on your website. Make sure you ask your metrics team to look into these and come up with a more robust metrics report for your websites and blogs.
Custom Dashboards and Ability to Create Multiple Dashboards
One of the most requested features, Google now allows you to create multiple dashboards on your profile. This is especially helpful if you want to provide a different dashboard report to different departments or roles in your organization.
The new dashboard enhancement also provides the ability to customize widgets in different formats:
Is Your Website Fast or Slow? Measure Page Load Time with Site Speed
You might have great content on your site but speed and load time greatly impact your bounce rate and the time spent by users on your site. Think about the numerous times you abandoned the site ‘cos it took forever to download. Google now offers a Site Speed report in the new version that helps you understand:
- Content: Which landing pages are slow?
- Traffic Sources: Which campaigns correspond to faster page loads?
- Visitor: How does page load time vary across geographies?
- Technology: Does your page load faster or slower for different browsers?
Please note that by default, the page speed measurement is turned off, so you will see a ZERO until you enable it. Here’s a blog post from Google on how to start tracking site speed.
EVENT GOALS Helps You Track Downloads and Video ContentAll those whitepapers, presentations and other downloadable content that you post on your website, wouldn’t it be nice to see how many people actually downloaded your content? Instead of using paid services to track metrics around content downloads, you can use Event Tracking in Google Analytics to track the following:
- Downloads of a PDF or other files
- Interaction with embedded videos, Adobe Flash objects or other multimedia
- How long a video was watched on your site
More on how to leverage Event Goals available here.
Drill Down of Traffic Source with Plot Rows
The graph on top of most analytics reports gives you a sense of your site’s performance over time. This graph shows you the peaks and valleys of your traffic data and earlier users weren’t able to focus on a particular row of data and had to dig into the table. This headache has been minimized with the Plot Rows feature in the new version. With Plot Rows, you can now analyze any two rows alongside the bigger overview. You can also compare the two rows against each other to identify trends. The before and after graphs below will help you understand what we mean by Plot Rows.
Track Mobile Websites with Google Analytics
This is not a new feature for V5 but I have been getting this question so often now that I wanted to include it on this post. Google Analytics reports traffic for mobile websites, the same way it reports visits to traditional websites. You can track visits made from iPhones and Android devices, as well as other not so smart phones. Additionally, you can also track traffic from smartphones to traditional website by going to the “Visitors” section in the “Mobile” tab of your Analytics account, or in the “Mobile Advanced” section.
Happy Analyzing and please, please read Avinash Kaushik’s (Google Analytics Evangelist) book “WEB ANALYTICS: An Hour a Day” if you have anything to do with metrics and numbers like I do at the end of the day for every campaign that we launch for our client at CRT-tanaka.
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